Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

It is really nice when you are appreciated for what you do and what makes you an amazing person. Everyone is amazing at something, to someone, which makes everyone as equally of a special person. And people should be more appreciative of the great things we all do and are. Which is why I am so fortunate to have great people around me, like my neighbors that live downstairs, Kerry and Scott. For one, our dogs are in love. Brody gets two sweet little Yorkie girl friends named Barley and Keeper that are only a few feet away. What a lucky dog!

Scott and Kerry on their wedding day :)

Last night I got to bake for these incredible people who have always, ALWAYS been there for me. It goes beyond them walking my dog when I am out of town, but how about just taking him out on a walk when I am sick so I don’t have to get out of bed? Or leaving my tulips at my door because I made excess pancakes that morning and brought them some over breakfast. Plus, they are just adorable with adorable dogs so you couldn’t ask for neighbors. But back to my point. Being appreciated. Kerry texted me yesterday asking if I could make cupcakes for her brother in laws birthday. Why? Because they would be better than anything she could buy in a store. I mean, that is the biggest compliment I could have gotten as someone who cooks. After picking her brain a bit about what her brother in law would like, we came up with this cupcake. He loves chocolate, so how about a Dark Chocolate Cupcake with Vanilla Butter Cream frosting, topped with chocolate shavings? YUM!

Dark Chocolate Cake                      Vanilla Butter Cream
2 cups boiling water                                           1 cup unsalted butter, at room temp
1/2 of a 100g bar rich dark chocolate                   2 1/4 cups powdered sugar
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder                       5 tbs vanilla extract
2 3/4 cups flour                                                 1/2 of the 100g bar rich dark chocolate, room temp
2 tsps baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups white sugar
4 eggs
2 tsps vanilla extract 
Optional: Dark Chocolate Pudding

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line your cupcake pan with liners. Since I am doing a birthday cupcake, I have these cute little birthday liners. BUT, when you use a decorated liner, make sure to double up! Otherwise, with a dark cake like chocolate, the birthday design will be lost. I suggest putting a simple cheap liner inside a decorative liner.

 

In medium bowl, pour the boiling water over your cocoa and the 1/2 bar of chocolate. I would break the bar into a few smaller pieces rather than stick the whole chunk in. Whisk the mixture is all melted and smooth, set aside, and let the mixture cool. 

In another bowl,  sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set this mixture aside as well.  

In a large bowl, or your stand mixer, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and the vanilla. Once this is done and mixed well, it is time to add the chocolate and the flour mixtures.

For the next steps, add the flour mixture alternately with the cocoa mixture. Start with the flour mixture, chocolate, flour, chocolate.

Pour the batter into the cupcake liners, making sure they are filled a little under the top of the liner. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes.

Time to make the frosting. Combine the softened butter and powdered sugar together until they are well incorporated. Add the vanilla extract. I love a punch of vanilla flavor, so the frosting will not be a pure white, but an off white. Set aside and keep the frosting at room temp. Make sure if you are doing this at the same time as making the cupcakes you keep an eye on your cupcakes.

Once the cupcakes are out of the oven and cool, and please make sure the cupcakes are cool or else your frosting will melt, they are ready to frost! Take your frosting and put it in a piping bag with whatever piping tip you want to use. I actually don’t have a piping bag, and if you don’t either, any old ziplock bag will do. Just make sure to snip off the end of the bag and insert the tip before filling the bag with frosting.

Once your frosting is in the bag, you want to pipe starting from the outside in, and place a nice mound of frosting on top of the cupcake. I am not the best piper… but I try :)

Once they are all frosted, take a microplane and your second half a bar of chocolate, and grate the chocolate over the top of the cupcakes. If you want to add other decorations, go for it

Voila. Rich delicious and perfect for a birthday. Sidenote…. guess who got over zealous and turned the mixer on too high while making frosting?? ME!



Kitchen blunders… they happen to everyone.
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